Green tea is a tea made with the leaves of the Camelia Sinesis plant. Unlike black tea, the green tea is allowed to oxidize slightly. Also unlike black tea, the tea is not fermented before it is processed. The consumption of green tea has become so popular in recent decades in the West that many farms now grow the plant in areas where it isn’t normally ideal. This doesn’t necessarily mean poor quality; it just means a different variety with a different flavor. There are several different types of green tea, each with unique qualities and flavor. Here’s a quick overview of the different types of green tea, and where they can be found.
Chinese Green Tea
There are several types of green tea that originate in China. The Chinese green tea types are probably more common than Japanese green teas. The type of tea normally takes it name from the region it’s grown in, although some types also have particular methods in which it’s processed as well. Junshan Yizhen, also called Silver Needle tea, is one of the more popular varieties. The tea takes on a more yellow color when brewed, and is mild without being bitter. Longjing tea is also popular. The leaves are pan fried during the processing, which locks in more of the flavor. Longjing tea is often duplicated with other types of tea. Some other types of tea from China are Hua Ding, and Hui Ming. Chinese green teas are considered the best green tea varieties by many people.
Japanese Green Tea
The other region that is famous for green tea is Japan. The names of many of the Japanese green tea varieties use names other than the region they are from. Some of the more popular varieties are Green Snail Spring tea, Rain Flower tea, White Cloud tea, and Cloud and Mist tea. When you are looking at the ingredients on commercial packages, they may list the regional names instead. Japanese green tea varieties are much more delicate in flavor. In restaurants you may find the tea brewed with whole fresh leaves as opposed to a dried blend in a diffuser.
Green tea can be on the bitter side. Many people who aren’t used to this will not enjoy the flavor of green tea. However, there are many ways to flavor the tea without taking away from the natural benefit it holds. In fact, many companies that make tea will make flavored blends just for this reason. If you want to try green tea but don’t care for bitter flavors, try the Good Earth Lemongrass Green tea blend. This combines the green tea with real lemongrass, and it gives it a smoother flavor. They also offer Jasmine green tea blends, citrus blends, and decaf green tea blends. You can find them in your local stores or order them online at http://www.goodearthteas.com/green-teas.html. Tazo tea also offers a naturally sweet green tea. You can find boxed tea bags in plain, berry mixes, citrus mixes, and decaf. They also offer bottled varieties, and loose leaf tea versions. You can find Tazo at any Starbucks, or order online at www.tazo.com. You can find many other brands of green tea as well; you’ll just have to try a few until you find one you like.